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Invesco Fair Funds Distribution Checks

Well you know you’ve been around investing too long that you start to take anonymous checks for granted. Today in the mail I received three checks for a pithy amount labeled “Invesco Fair Funds Distribution Checks.” Humph, I thought, must be a dividend check or something like that. Well fortunately for me I heeded the warning on these checks (“Before you deposit or otherwise negotiate this check, it is very important that you understand the tax implications that may arise in connection with this payment. To this end, prior to depositing or otherwise negotiating this check please review the Statement to Eligible Investors located in the “Tax Information: page at www.invescofairfund.com and/or consult your tax adviser.”

Hmmm…this is something I should definitely check into. But why was I receiving this check again? A quick look to the back illuminated my answer brilliantly.

“By way of background, you have been identified as an investor who has been affected by the market timing asserted in one or more of these administrative proceedings referenced on the reverse side,” (the mentions were “Invesco Funds Group, Inc. Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-11701 (10/8/04),” “Banc of America Capital Management, LLC BACAP Distributors, LLC and Banc of America Securities, LLC. Respondents Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-11818 (2/9/05)” and ” Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc. and Bear Stearns Securities Corp., Respondents Administrative Proceeding File No. 2-12238 (3/16/06)”

Well I guess that’s why I got three checks. And I was affected but really, aren’t we all always affected by people ripping us off?

The memo on the back of the check continues: “The SEC approved separate Plans of Distribution for each of these proceedings. The Plans describe how the Fair Funds, established for investors affected by market timing in certain Invesco mutual funds, are being distributed. In accordance with the Plans, Invesco, who maintained your shares as direct accounts, made available sufficient information to determine your distribution payment.” Blah, blah, blah (if you can believe it that was the important stuff).

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So what it basically says was 7-10 years ago (2000-2003) your money was messed with by illegal market timers who subsequently lost a lot of it. Here’s your share back. I was an investor with Invesco mutual funds and while this small amount of money won’t really do all that much for me, it is encouraging to see that the SEC has got my back. Sometimes.

So I wonder what all of our payouts are going to look like in another five to seven years when we all get our share from the housing bubble/AIG/CIT/CITI/Ford/Chrysler/Bailout Nation debacle we just have been through.

Why does it occur to me that most folks might not want to hold their breath in anticipation of those checks coming anytime this lifetime?